library_gaming.jpgJenny Levine’s Shifted Librarian blog has recently been asking some pretty interesting questions in regards to gaming in libraries, most of which boil down to the primary question of what is holding libraries back from allowing gaming into their buildings. Fellow librarian Ivan Chew suggests the answer might be a “lack of concrete measures (of the outcomes from implementing gaming)”.

“Do we use the same outcomes we do for other groups that meet in the library?” Asks Levine. “Is there a way to equate the literacy of the number of books a kid reads in the reading program versus the literacy a kid needs to advance playing a video game? Does starting with Dance Dance Revolution show the obvious physical benefits of gaming, allowing us to move the discussion to the mental and learning benefits of gaming?”

It’s an intriguing issue, and one that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be solved by just pushing a copy of Brain Age into the hands of anyone who doesn’t understand the positive outcomes that are possible through gaming – though that would be a good start.

Personally, I have rather fond memories of playing Pitfall! and Centipede at my local library. Mind you, the fact that it was 1990 suggests the games might not have been there through any admission gaming’s positive effects.

[edited by alistairw]